Jul 11, 2011 11:00pm EDT
imagine getting there in a variety of ways. you count savings from withdrawal of troops, from afghanistan and from iraq. you have some other defense cuts can, you have a whole bunch of discretionary cuts. you do some little things on mandatory programs that are not social security or medicare. and so then the deal gets done and some ofhese big questions on medicare and taxes get saved for the 2012 campaign. on the other hand, whenou read quotes which you occasionally read, from congressional staffers, republican staff are saying, you know, ybe a showdown in whiche don't get this deal isn't the worst thing. that does make you wonder how many people within congress think that actually no deal would be better than a deal. and my colleague david brooks argues that that would be very bad for the republicans politically. i'm not so sure about that. there is only one president and there's only one ecomy and i think there's a chance that chaos and no deal actually hurts the white house and to the extent that the republicans agree with that, then we could be in for a really dicey couple of months.